Wednesday March 30 Three for the stage: You can always count on the US West TheatreFest for an interesting time--the annual series that puts new works by unknown playwrights on stage at the Denver Center for Performing Arts is dedicated to variety and innovation in the theater arts. This year's fest, now in progress, features three different plays--Stories, based on the magical realism of Isabel Allende's novel The Stories of Eva Luna (in the Space Theatre through April 9); a stage version of Hawthorne's classic The Scarlet Letter (in the Stage Theatre through April 16); and the one-man show Home and Away, performed by author Kevin Kling (in the Ricketson Theatre, also through April 16); all venues are located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex, 13th and Curtis St. Each of the three presentations can be seen at 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays or 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, with performances at both 1:30 and 8 available on Saturdays; ticket prices range from $17 to $27. Call 893-4100 for reservations.
Thursday March 31 Pen pals: Tonight's bill at the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax, is a regular songwriter's conference, with a gaggle of wordsmiths who examine the art from four different perspectives. Well-regarded Texas desperado Guy Clark tops off the evening, pitching his craggy tunes to an audience warmed up by Rosie Flores, a spunky gal who updates the country thing with sassy vocals and a great wardrobe (chosen in the spirit of Patsy Cline). Completing the lineup are Steve Young and Chuck Pyle. Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $13; call 830-2525 or 290-TIXS.
Friday April 1 Black alleys: You'll get a dramatic history lesson tonight in Littleton when the Eulipions theater group combines jazz, dance and neighborhood lore in Five Points Blues, an original work based on the rich annals of Denver's oldest African-American community. Known for their well-attended Theater in the Park performances (the summer freebie held in Denver's Civic Center Park), the Eulipions call Five Points home, but they'll perform at the Town Hall Arts Center, 2450 W. Main St. The program begins at 8 p.m. and will be repeated tomorrow and on April 8 and 9; for tickets ($12) call 794-2787.
What am I doin' in Denver?: Comic George Carlin is the perfect example of how the Sixties caused people to turn on and drop out: After several satirical years on the straight stand-up circuit, he grew a beard and tailored his routines to fit the counterculture. Bingo. And although he's had his down-and-out periods (with the counterculture came the drugs--a story we've all heard before), the irreverent Carlin still makes people laugh. Find out why his career continues to blossom--regardless of the times--tonight at 8 when he appears, ponytail and wit intact, in the Buell Theatre, 13th and Curtis St. Admission ranges from $18 to $23; call 290-TIXS.
Fools run in: Since April Fool's Day can't be swept under the carpet, you might as well celebrate the ridiculous by checking out the zany improv comedy of Head Games, a group of professional funny folks on loan tonight from Boulder's West End. The group, hoping to ignite a regular thang here in Denver, appear tonight at The Bug, 3654 Navajo St. It's six bucks for the yucks; call 477-5977 for information.
Anything goes: What makes people listen to KBCO? For some, it's the FM station's tradition of presenting live in-studio performances by national recording artists who pass through the area. In case you've missed the best of these programs (which have featured guests including John Hiatt, Loudon Wainwright III, Patti Scialfa and Squeeze), KBCO has put together a series of compilations on CD and is throwing a release party to celebrate the latest one, Studio C IV, tonight at 8 at the Ice House, down in LoDo at 18th and Wynkoop. Punching up the gala will be local group Emilio (also appearing on the disc); it's all free, but copies of the album will be available for purchase--with proceeds benefiting the Colorado and Boulder County AIDS projects. For details call 694-6300.
Saturday April 2 Diamonds in the rough: The dark days before major-league baseball found a home in Colorado were perhaps a little brighter than Rockies fans would like to believe. We had the Zephyrs, the Bears and, even further back in the historical murk, teams like the Occidentals, Leadville Blues and White Elephants. Authors Irvin Moss and Mark Foster, who graciously recorded our state's minor-league lore in their book Home Run in the Rockies, will autograph copies of the tome at the Tattered Cover Book Store, located at 2955 E. 1st Ave., today from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Just the thing to prepare you before you nosedive into a baseball new season. For additional information call 322-7727.
Horns of plenty: The motto of The Denver Brass is "something for everyone," and when the ensemble appears tonight with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the fare will fulfill that promise. Aided by the symphony's own venerable brass contingent, the popular local group will perform a slate of compositions ranging from the Renaissance sounds of Gabrieli's Canzone e Sonate to Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, all with appropriate verve and fanfare. The concert takes place in Boettcher Hall, at 13th and Curtis St. Reserve tickets for the 8 p.m. program are available through the symphony box office at 986-8742. Tickets run between $8 and $33.
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Sunday April 3 Rise and shine: How often do you get up at the crack of dawn to watch the sun come up in the bosom of glorious nature? If your answer is "rarely" or "never," you can thank your lucky stars for the annual Easter Sunrise Service, held like clockwork at Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison every year on Easter Sunday. This year's interdenominational service will be brightened up by local composer Doris Bohling's Easter Cantata and other musical selections performed by the Evergreen Chorale. Gates to the park open at 5 a.m., with the service commencing at 6:30; attendees are urged to dress warmly and bring along something hot to drink. Call 825-4910 for information.
Hard-boiled detectives: The flip side of Eas-ter--the part that pertains to kids--involves that flop-eared mammal called the Easter bunny and those darned baskets full of eggs he's known to deliver. Small people will have the time of their lives today at the Easter Eggstravaganza, a celebration of spring held annually at the Children's Museum of Denver, located at I-25 and 23rd Ave. Featuring an Easter egg hunt (successful hunters can trade theirs in their ovum for goodie bags), a petting zoo with cuddly bunnies, chicks and piglets, free plant seedlings and other forms of entertainment. Admission to the event, taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is $4 for kids (parents get a break--adult admission is only $3); call 433-7444.
Monday April 4 Play ball! There's no moment more fraught with innocent promise and charm than Opening Day. When the boys of summer toddle out onto the field in April, they're like babies--there's still a sense that anything can happen emanating from the dugouts and hanging deliciously in the electric air. So it's worthy of mention--the Colorado Rockies debut their second season in Mile High Stadium today beginning at 3:05 p.m. If you're not lucky enough to have tix for the sold-out home opener against last year's almost-champs, the Philadelphia Phillies, you can catch the action on KWGN-TV Channel 2; a pregame show sets the tone at 2:30.
Tuesday April 5 The big buildup: Do the DIA design fiascos have you steamed? Are you one of those folks wondering why RTD's new light-rail system is beginning to resemble a gigantic model train setup in downtown Denver's basement--traveling in a circle from nowhere to nowhere else? Stop bitching and moaning. You get your chance to hold your nose (or clap your hands) by casting your votes in this year's Orchids and Onions People's Design Awards. Remember this: An orchid is a well-designed project that makes the metro area a better place to live. An onion is a poorly conceived stinker of a project adding nothing to the community. And then call 637-3544 to nominate the buildings, places or things of your choice; the deadline is April 22.